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Local leaders work to protect Lansing area kids affected by lead

LANSING, Mich. – Lead-based paint is the primary source of lead poisoning in Ingham County, where more than 200 kids test high for lead every year. Lead causes irreversible damage in young children, and the urgency is bringing local leaders together.

The Ingham County Health Department, the Greater Lansing Housing Coalition, the Refugee Development Center, Triterra Consulting, and the Michigan Lead Safe Home Program have joined forces to help children with lead poisoning by providing resources, in-home education and technical assistance. The partnership, funded by the state’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, will host a press conference on Wednesday, February 24 at 10 a.m. in Conference Room A of the Human Services Building located at 5303 S. Cedar Street in Lansing to discuss the partnership and potential laws that could prevent future lead poisonings.

“We have very old housing stock in Ingham County, and it’s concentrated in Lansing,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “Most of the lead-poisoned children we see live in older, rental homes in Lansing. These homes have chipping and abrading lead-based paint which children ingest. There is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe.”

In Ingham County, 68% of all homes were built before lead paint was banned by the federal government in 1978. Ingham County ranks in the top 10 statewide for lead-poisoned children.

The following people will speak at the press conference:

•           Erika Brown-Binion, Executive Director, Refugee Development Center

•           Judi Brown Clarke, Lansing City Council President

•           Julie Powers, Executive Director, Greater Lansing Housing Commission

•           State Representative Andy Schor

•           Linda Vail, Ingham County Health Officer